Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

Answers elude girls as slide continues

Cardinals hope busy week leads to turnaround

February 8, 2007

The Eudora girls basketball team has hit a bit of a slump.

After a 10 day break from games, the Cardinals lost Friday to rival Baldwin 47-38 and then Tuesday to Ottawa, 56-32.

Coach Ryan Luke said although various reasons existed for the less-than-desirable showing during the week, it could all be brought down to one common denominator -- a lack of energy.

"We don't understand the intensity level we need to have before we come out and play," Luke said.

Offensively and defensively, Luke said the team was just not performing up to its potential, especially in the Ottawa game.

"I think we got down a few points early on and lost our confidence," Luke said. "We were expecting someone to take over.

"They played harder than we did offensively and defensively."

The Cardinals did perform well early against Ottawa. Allison Braden intercepted an Ottawa pass and launched it to Emily Ballock for the first two points of the game. Ottawa quickly replied, but Eudora managed to stay neck and neck with its opponent.

Eudora was only trailing by two points at the end of the first quarter, but things soured from there.

Ottawa made a nine-point run that lasted four minutes in the second quarter, thanks in part to the 5-foot-11 Chantay Caron. Caron used her dominating size to nab rebounds, stealing point-earning opportunities from the Cardinals.

After only scoring one bucket, the second quarter ended with Eudora behind 27-14.

The Cardinals came back energized after the 10-minute halftime break. Eudora started taking a lot more shots and began to communicate more efficiently. Those shots just wouldn't slide in, however.

"The shots didn't fall in," Luke said. "We stood around and watched a lot."

Ballock's speed was again prevalent and a driving force to keep the team motivated. Ballock continually drove the ball down the court and gave her teammates opportunities to shoot. Luke said he was pleased with Ballock's play Tuesday.

"She plays hard all the time," Luke said. "She's one person we always can count on for that. And we rely on her almost too much sometimes."

The Cardinals managed to stay in the game, but Ottawa's lead proved to be too large. Eudora never was able to fully recover from its disastrous second quarter.

Despite the two losses, Luke said he and his team were positive about the future. With six games left in the season, three of which are in the coming week, the girls basketball team will have many opportunities to turn things around.

"I think we are going to regain our focus and go strong at the end of the year," Luke said. "We have some things to work on in the next two days, but I've never been a part of a team that didn't go strong in the end."

The Cardinals are scheduled to play 7 p.m. Thursday at Kansas City-Sumner, 6:30 p.m. Friday at Prairie View and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Paola.

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